It was a Saturday morning, exactly one week from when Dapo had taken Anu to the cinema and he was wondering what he would do with hisday. Most of his friends were heavy drinkers, and he had been trying to cut down on his drinking since he got married. Just then, Lola walked into the room. He winked at her; she winked like 5 times at him and then sat on his back.
“Ouch!” Dapo exclaimed. “Do you want to break my back?” She started tickling him playfully. And then he wrestled her until he was on top of her. After a while of struggling, Lola surrendered, and they just stayed still, staring into each other’s eyes until their lips locked. They ended up making love.
Lola hit the showers some minutes afterwards. Dapo stayed in bed, Unclad, thinking of how great his life was. He never wanted anything to disrupt what he had right now. He switched on the TV, and a Nigerian movie was on. He wasn’t a big fan, but, once in while he liked seeing the beautiful actresses on screen; plus, his wife couldn’t seem to get enough of them.
Lola came in from the bath, rubbing water off her body with a pink towel.
“I think we should pay the Cole’s a visit; Mrs. Cole has been back for 3 days now, and I really want to meet her.”
“Yeah, that is a good idea.” Dapo said and was about to change the channel when something caught his eye. The girl onscreen looked so familiar; like someone he had gone to school with. But she was too young to have gone to school with him. He pulled at Lola’s towel. “What’s that girl’s name?” He said, pointing the remote at the TV.
“Don’t tell me you don’t know who that is.” Lola said after taking one quick look at the screen.
“I guess I do, but I can’t remember right now.”
Lola threw the towel at Dapo’s face. “That is Blessing Balogun; winner of the 2010 Most Beautiful Girl in Nigeria contest; actress, model, and I think she also sings.”
“Hmm! The name still does not ring a bell. I just know I have seen her someplace recently.”
“She is everywhere; she is the golden child right now.”
There was another scene from the movie where she was talking to a man in a parking lot, and then she smiled. It hit Dapo immediately.
“Blessing Dupe Balogun; that’s her full name.” Lola said as she got dressed.
It finally hit him. He now understood what she meant by the ‘you’ll be seeing a lot of me’ statement. It’s funny how the Universe seems to throw things at you when you are focusing on them. He wanted to tell dupe about their meeting, but he thought it might not come out right. It was not like he was going to run into her again anyway, so there would not really be any use telling dupe, unless he wanted her to feel jealous.
“What’s on your mind honey?”
“Nothing.” He said as he sat up in bed. “Maybe we should stay home today; we would see the Cole’s tomorrow.”
“I was thinking the same thing; I’d probably go andshop for house things today. My mood seems to be swinging in different directions, fast these days.”
Lola left for the market a few minutes later. Bored in the house alone, Dapo decided to go and see Ayo, his oldest friend he still kept in touch with.
He hadn’t even driven far when he had a flat tire and had to stop on the side of the road. Dapo’s worries escalated when he found out that the extra tire in the boot had also gone flat. He hadn’t changed tires since buying the car, 6 months ago. He stood by the car for a while, not knowing exactly how to go about his predicament. Then he decided he would change to the extra, since it was in better shape, and manage to drive it to the nearest Vulcanizer.
Getting the tire removed was hard because it was on the side facing the road. Passer-byes bumped into him while they tried to avoid oncoming vehicles, and he also had to be careful and watch for cars approaching.
As he was making some progress, he saw a black Hyundai Accent, 2011 model, slow down, like the driver was trying to get a good look at him. ‘Oh no, it’s probably one of my customers.’ He thought to himself, feeling bad.
The car parked a couple of blocks from his on the other side of the road. When the driver came down and was walking in his direction, he still didn’t know who it was. It was until she had crossed to his side of the road that he knew who it was.
“Hello. Having problems?” She said with a smile. She had on a white linen mini gown with navy blue pattern at the edges; and white and blue high-heels to match.
“How are you doing miss…I forgot your name.” he said as he wiped off sweat from his brow. “So why didn’t you tell me who you were?”
“Well…I liked the fact that someone didn’t know who I was for a change.” She said as she squatted beside Dapo. He made one last turn of the spanner, and the last bolt came off. He nearly fell from the move, and she quickly held him up. Dupe laughed sheepishly as they disentangled.
“This is so embarrassing; are you sure you really want to be here?” He said as he checked the tire for what had punctured it.
“It’s okay.” Dupe said and stood there, waiting for his next move.
“Well, the thing is my extra is not in good shape either, and…”
“What were you planning on doing?” Dupe asked, looking puzzled. Dapo just stood there, lost for words. “Hmm! You know what; we can take the two tires in my car and find a Vulcanizer” She said, already walking towards her car.
“Thank you.” Dapo said and listened to her high heels make a rhythmic sound as she walked off.
She parked her car right behind Dapo’s Camry when she got back. He loaded the two tires into her trunk, and they drove off.
“You stay around?” He asked.
“Yes. I stay a couple of streets from here; and you?”
“No. I was actually in the neighborhood to see a friend.”
They hadn’t driven long before they found a Mechanic shed.
“You know, this would probably take a while. I can always catch a bike back to where my car is.” Dapo said as he picked up the tires from the trunk of her car.
“Are you dismissing me?”
“No. I was just considering you; I don’t want you to feel guilty…I mean, it’s okay if you want to leave.”
“Don’t worry, I am in no rush. I couldn’t just leave you here.”
“Hmm! Okay.” He said and rushed off to get the tires out of her car boot. He said some things to the Vulcanizer before entering back into her car.
“So how is your daughter?” She asked as he settled in front passenger seat.
“Sorry? You know first impressions are hard to erase from the memory.”
“She is doing okay. So how did you know it was me? I mean when you saw me on the side of the road.”
“Because you are the one person I’ve met in a long while that didn’t know who I was.”
Dapo laughed a little before speaking. “That’s funny, right? My wife was so surprised that I didn’t know who you were.” The Vulcanizer called Dapo’s attention and he went over to see the progress with the tires. He found out that a nail had been the cause of the puncture. They negotiated price and the man went back to work.
“So…how is the acting?” Dapo said as an ice breaker.
“Hmm! Well I’m not really an actor, or actress as the case maybe. I just get cameos in movies from the popularity that I got from modeling.”
“And from being a former must beautiful girl in Nigeria?” Dapo said and it madeher smile.
“Interesting…You are really an ambitious one”
“So what do your parents think?”
“They have always been very liberal people. I stay alone with my brother now; both my parents are in U.K.”
“I really miss them sometimes; if I didn’t have big dreams like I do, I would probably be there with them.”
They talked for a while on dreams and achieving them. And on how, sometimes sacrifices have to be made in life to get what you want. Just when Dapo was starting to feel uneasy, the Vulcanizer knocked on the boot of the car to signal that he was through. He got out, and she popped the trunk for him to get the tires back in. She was going through her glove compartment when Dapo was about to re-enter the car, so he had to wait for a while before getting in. Right at that moment, it dawned on him that what he was doing was very dangerous. Having the girl as a friend was really a risk. He’d have to introduce her to Lola very soon, or else, it wouldn’t be a good scene if she found out on her on, he thought to himself. After she got out something from the glove compartment, he got back into the car and she drove off.
“You know what?”
“What?” Dapo asked.
“I’ve been driving for like four years now, and I have never had to change a tire.” She said as she laughed lightly.
“Really; how old are you?”
She took a quick look at him before answering. “21.”
“Are you serious? I thought you were like 18 or something.” He said and she looked at him with a light frown that later became a smile. They were by his car now, and she parked in front of it.
He got out, got the tires out of her car boot, and rolled them to his car. She followed. He was about to start fixing the tire to his car when he stopped and looked up at her.
“I’m really grateful for all you have done, I appreciate it. I don’t want to keep you any longer. You probably have to meet a boyfriend somewhere or something.”
“Don’t have one”
“A beautiful girl like you, with all the achievements you have made?”
“Hmm! That is probably the reason why I don’t have one.”
“I must introduce you to some of my younger cousins.”
“Very funny, D. But on second thought, I’d like to meet them; that is if they don’t know who I am.”
“I doubt that; they watch a lot of TV.” He said, and she smiled.
“I’m really tired of meeting fans; I guess that Is why I had fun talking to you the first time we met.”
There was silence after a while and she was hovering around Dapo, who was busy fixing the tire. Then she started walking off to her car.
“Okay, I guess I’d see you around some other time.” She said as she headed to her car.
“Maybe.” He said and waved at her. She waved back at him and got into her car. He was about to go back to what he was doing when he heard the car door open and she emerged like she had forgotten something.
“Can I call you sometime?” She said. And her eyes looked everywhere but at Dapo. He stood up, collected her phone and typed his number in it. She dialed the number and cut the line when his phone started to ring.
“I’d really like to meet your wife someday soon.”
“Yeah, that’d be good. You have my number, call me.”
“Okay. It was really nice running into.” She said and Dapo nodded and smiled at her.She got in and Dapo watched her car zoom off before he went back to work.
To be continued